Jack Shear has perhaps the longest blog title and hostname in all of OSR.
He also has lots of really good ideas for the Weird.
Today I learned of his Random Wizard’s Tower Generator, and I like it.
The above link seems to have gone stale; the page is no longer visible on Jack’s site. However, I do see the Random Wizard’s Tower Generator in my copy of Tales of the Grotesque and Dungeonesque II. I don’t see the PDF still available, but the books are available in hardcover and in softcover via jack.shear’s Store at Lulu.
A set of tables to generate general information about wizard’s towers, plus a few supplementary tables to round things out.
- Tower Name (in case you don’t already have one)
- Wizard Name (again, in case you don’t already have one)
- Theme (what the wizard is really into)
- Foreboding Aspect (what keeps the locals away)
- Aesthetic (overall style)
- How Many Levels
- Types of Levels (starts with private chambers and library, and a d20 table to flesh out the rest)
- Primary Protection (what keeps him from being disturbed… more)
- Secondary Protection (roll again, but they are weaker or fewer)
- Associated Tables
- Don’t Touch That Because…
- You Knocked That Over And…
- Odd Room Features
- Abortive Experiments
- What’s in the Wizard’s Dustbin
I love random tables that can give me direction, or jerk me out of a rut. Let’s see what this one gives.
d12 twice, d20 once: The Cyclopean Tower of Zerio
d12: Really into Things Man Was Not Meant To Know
d10: Skeletons wander the area near the tower
d10: Overall aesthetic is rustic and charming [really? I thought about overruling, but let’s go with it]
d4+1: (doesn’t sound really powerful to me): 4 levels
- Private Chambers
- Wizard’s Library
- Alchemical Library
- Wunderkammer – medical oddities, natural history specimens
Primary Protection: Magical Traps
Secondary Protection: Hauntings (see What Type of Haunting is Afoot Table on page 74 [of Tales of the Grotesque and Dungeonesque Compendium — also available for purchase in hardcover or softcover, see Jack’s site for details).
I can work with this. It gives me a good start and I can branch out to other sources and random references as I want.